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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Already in Progress

Fighting For Survival,

They say that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy. 
 The struggle to define the next structure for global trade and finance is underway. China is both in ascendancy, and infected with parasites, while the western financial and military empire has long been ruled by parasites, and is pervasively diseased, as are all of the surviving tributary states. The tributary states that tried to break away, like Iraq, Libya, Venezuela and Syria got gut-shot, but are still in some kind of existence, never to willfully comply again. 
 Their crime was against the Petro-Dollar, the extractive agent of the Petrobuck empire. The mutiny against the Petro-$US is spreading, quietly, with Russia, China and Iran trading outside the $US constructs, forming new trade mechanisms in other currencies.
 We know that China and Russia have massive holdings of physical gold, that Venezuela mines it, and that Iran and Turkey have done gold for oil deals in the past decade to get around US sanctions.
 The US is now using both the global military forces and the $US trade and finance structure as billy clubs, instead of just the military. It takes time to develop alternative trade structures, pricing, and market formats, but that is underway, with China, Russia and Iran being fully invested.
 This is an open secret, and it seems to be why Trump can use the $US as a billy club, now, knowing that it is still possible, and will soon be impossible, whether used now or not. 
 Trump can be pretty unconstrained in his short-term actions with the global reserve currency. His battlefield tactics are quite different from the calm that global banking tries to portray, and their ends are not quite the same. 
 Trump seems to be fronting for nationalist-invested power elites, not globalist-financial-elites. 
Are there other sides? Can we get another quarterback in the game for the nationalist team, in the second half, maybe?

Peace might break out in the Mideast under Chinese/Russian tutelage. 
 I'm suspicious about what looks like so much good free-information from OilPrice.com. What false information might be in here? Their story about Iran letting the Russians have a naval base seems to have been untrue. A detuned version is in this story. I appreciate so much detail and context. I'll be glad to post corrections from those with good sources.
​ ​The handling by the Trump White House of the Iranian shootdown of the US RQ-4A/BAMS-D Global Hawk drone on June 20, 2019, only exacerbated further the anguish of both MBS and MBZ. Both of them, along with other Arab leaders, urged the Trump White House to strike hard at Iran in retaliation. Both MBS and MBZ communicated in person with the most senior individuals at the White House. They were stunned to learn that Trump communicated directly with Tehran on the possibility of a largely symbolic retaliatory strike, and the prospects of bilateral negotiations.
​ ​Both MBS and MBZ consider the last-minute cancellation of the US retaliatory strike a personal affront and humiliation because Trump did not accept and follow their positions and demands for action. Both MBS and MBZ are now convinced that not only the US demonstrated weakness and lack of resolve, but that Pres. Trump was personally not committed to fighting Iran on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms.
​ ​Furthermore, there is growing trepidation in Saudi Arabia about the viability of the Pakistani guarantees to the Kingdom, particularly concerning nuclear deterrence.
​ ​In the past, Islamabad mediated the Saudi purchase of ballistic missiles from the PRC (procurements which are supported by Pakistani military technicians and security personnel) and had allocated two nuclear warheads for launch from Saudi Arabia in case of an Iranian attack, all in return for lavish Saudi funding of Pakistan’s nuclear and strategic weapons programs.
​ ​However, there has been a profound turnaround in Pakistani policies starting in the Summer of 2019.
First, Pakistan reached a comprehensive military agreement with Turkey with the latter providing weapons and other military systems, as well as training, in order to replace US and Western systems which were no longer available. In the first area of active cooperation, Turkey mediated modalities for trilateral cooperation (Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan) in fighting Baluchi jihadists and insurgents. Second, Pakistan is expediting the shipping of huge quantities of Iranian gas to western China by mainly using existing pipelines, from the Fars fields to Chabahar, then via the Iran-Pakistan pipeline to Gwadar, and then via the CPEC (the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) pipeline to Xinjiang. As well, Iran and Pakistan cooperate closely in negotiations with various Afghan factions to ameliorate any US achievements in the Doha negotiations with the Taliban.
​ ​Hence, both MBS and MBZ wonder, can Saudi Arabia trust Pakistan to deter and confront Iran and its allies on behalf of Saudi Arabia?​ ...

“The UAE and China are moving towards a promising future,” MBZ said in his concluding meeting with Xi Jinping. His visit aimed at “developing co-operation and a comprehensive strategic partnership, as well as opening new horizons for joint action in various sectors,” MBZ explained. Xi Jinping responded by stressing “the profound significance of China-Arab relations”. The PRC and the UAE would now work closely together to transform the Persian Gulf into “a security oasis” rather than a new “source of turmoil”.​..
​ According to PRC senior officials in Beijing: “China continues oil imports from Iran to show independence from US sanctions.” The PRC also agreed to purchase oil with yuans, euros, and other currencies in order to reduce their vulnerability to US financial sanctions. The PRC would continue to import its Iranian crude via at least a dozen Iranian tankers also in order to demonstrate to all that “China [is] a country powerful enough to bust US sanctions”.  ​...
 For the first time, an official PRC defense document acknowledged the rivalry with the US military and clearly articulated China’s long-term goal to confront and challenge “US dominance”. These goals would be attained through, among other things, the expansion of the PRC “power projection capabilities”, particularly the Navy’s. The White Paper heralded a significant shift in maritime strategy from “near seas defense” to “the combination of near seas defense and far seas protection”. Adopting the “far seas” strategy, the White Paper stated, would enable the PRC to “build itself into a maritime power”.  

​ ​At a moment that Iran and the US/UK are effectively already at war on the open seas in an ongoing "tanker war," Tehran is set to unveil a new Iran-manufactured long range air-defense missile system which could rival Russia's S-300 system.
​ ​Citing state media, the Associated Press described "the Bavar-373 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system able to recognize up to 100 targets at a same time and confront them with six different weapons." ...
​ ​Russian aviation publication Avia.Pro claimed early this week that the Iranian system is “superior” to the S-300. It's reportedly been undergoing testing since 2017, but it's unclear how quickly it will actually be deployed into operation.
​ ​“The Iranian Bavar-373 radars can detect air targets at distances of up to 300 kilometers, and, in addition to aircraft, the radar is able to detect cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as small drones,” the publication stated, according to a translation.
​ ​“According to unconfirmed data, the radar is also capable of detecting stealth aircraft, which makes it an effective means of combating F-22 and F-35 fighters​."​


​ ​The US military is no longer the primary force in Asia, and missiles from China's rapidly improving military could overwhelm its bases in hours, according to a new report.
​ ​The study by the United States Study Center, at the University of Sydney, in Australia, warned that America's defense strategy in the Indo-Pacific region "is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis" and could struggle to defend its allies against China...
"China has deployed a formidable array of precision missiles and other counter-intervention systems to undercut America's military primacy," the report states. Those missiles number in the thousands, the report says.
 ​Almost all US military installations in the Western Pacific, as well as those of its key partners and allies, "could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict," according to the report.


​Trade war is on, one of the lesser forms of war, that often leads to the greater forms of war, but "it might be different this time".
​ Trump "wants to keep bullying China and China wants to keep telling the rest of the world that they are the good guy here," Reinsch said.
At the same time, picking up on what we said in "Mr. President, This Is How To Get The Fed To Launch Quantitative Easing", Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer said that “Trump really doesn’t want the economy to tank... but if he’s headed for confrontation with China anyway (and he is), he’d rather take the hit way before elections. Implies escalation from US soon."
 More importantly, it also means that the Fed will be under increased pressure to not only cut rates, but launch "some quantitative easing" as Trump demanded on August 19. As a reminder, at the end of the day, Trump sees the Fed's actions - or lack thereof - as far more important to the US economy than the outcome of the trade war, which explains his question "who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?"
 To answer, and provoke Powell into conceding, Trump is now willing to take the US, and global, economy to the edge of recession. It's a big gamble, although Trump's position got an unexpected supporter late on Friday, when none other than BOE head Mark Carney effectively endorsed Trump's destabilizing policies by saying that the time of the US Dollar as the world's reserve currency is now over.

Cryptocurrency is really, truly and only ideal as global trade currency, because each transaction is so very costly, but every node in the whole trade system has to recognize each and every transaction. Transparent and universally-agreed. (Can it be backed by gold, too?)
​ ​After Jerome Powell's neutral-to-slightly-dovish-but-mostly-boring speech on Friday morning, investors could be forgiven for suspecting that this year's Fed-sponsored gathering in Jackson Hole might be disappointingly dull (especially with all that's going on in Trump's twitter feed, the escalating trade war and escalating geopolitical unrest).
​ ​Then along came former Goldman banker and current (outgoing) BOE governor, Mark Carney, who in his​ ​lunchtime address laid out a shocking, radical proposal - perhaps the most stunning thing to ever be unveiled at Jackson Hole - urging to replace the US Dollar with a "Libra-like" reserve currency in a dramatic revamp of the global monetary, financial and economic order.

 Brandon Smith often has some good points, and always has stuff he's pushing that I disagree with, so here's the snippet I like.
 Anyone who has read my work for the past few years knows I have been warning about Trump as a false prophet for the liberty movement and conservatives in general. And everyone knows my primary concern has been that the globalists will crash the Everything Bubble on Trump's watch, and then blame all conservatives for the consequences.
 To be clear, Trump is not the cause of the Everything Bubble, nor is he the cause of its current implosion. No president has the power to trigger a collapse of this magnitude, only central banks have that power. When Trump argues that the Fed is causing a downturn, he is telling the truth, but when he claims that recession fears are exaggerated, or "inappropriate", he is lying.   What he is not telling the public is that his job is to HELP the Fed in this process of controlled economic demolition.

​ ​Climate is economy. We now sort of see that. 
Fossil fuel burn and "economy"continue to be as tightly linked as any 2 things, despite attempts to pretend the US economy is de-carbonizing by moving manufacturing to co​al-​powered China.​ 
 Debate about massive adaptation to climate change appears to be different from debate about structures of global trade and finance.
It's all the same thing, the global economic restructuring.​ 
 The ideal is to do it without massive destruction of things we can't really rebuild, that were built with the abundant energy, steel, concrete and copper of decades past.
​ The party of anti-Trump needs to stand for something, but it is mostly afraid to...​ The members who are not afraid must be destroyed, of course.
Bernie Sanders isn't particularly afraid. His opening-bid version of "Green New Deal" was just released on his tour of Northern California.
​ ​The plan would “launch a decade of the Green New Deal”, a 10-year federal “mobilization” that would factor climate change into every policy action from immigration to foreign policy while promising to create 20 million jobs in the process.
The U.S. would generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and achieve “full decarbonization” by 2050, according to the plan.
​ ​“We are going to invest massively in wind, solar and other sustainable energies,” 
Sanders told a cheering crowd that had braved near triple digit temperatures to see him in a downtown Sacramento park.
​ ​Addressing about 5,000 people inside and outside the park, Sanders accused fossil fuel companies of being willing to destroy the planet for short-term profits.​ (Duh...)​

Racism might not be quite a galvanizing enough issue next year, y'all...
 As activists sustain pressure on the DNC Saturday to vote on favor of a climate debate, advocacy group Progressive Democrats of America said that three presidential candidates added their names to an open letter to the committee demanding such a single-focused debate.
​ ​Welcoming the signatures from Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson, PDA executive director Alan Minsky said, "The Democratic Party needs to show it is ready to respond to the existential climate threat by delivering the American people a televised climate debate."

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